The Old Man River project, will uncover stories linking the Thames, the Medway and the Swale from 1660 to 1960.
Yarns involving hulk dwellers, barges, old salts, heroes and villains will be woven together to create a series of dramatic performances. The history of the seaside row of houses known as Shrimp Terrace in Sheerness will be presented as house drama spanning the years from 1880 to the present focusing on individuals whose lives were linked into both local and national history. Historic images and photographs will be gathered from the various coastal areas. Local communities are being encouraged to get involved with all aspects of the project, as researchers, scriptwriters, actors and directors. Historic costumes will be created for a series of site-specific street theatre performances & school drama workshops.
Unifying the dramas will be Old Man River himself in the form of an old sailor recounting historic events, salty yarns and sea-shanties. An exhibition featuring the imagery and information discovered is planned for summer 2012.
A new Touring production “Britania Rules the Waves” has been performed in various venues. It gives a taste of historical events crucial to Sheppey such as the Nore Mutiny and the return of Nelson’s body after the Battle of Trafalgar with familiar songs.